Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower


5 from 55 votes
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This air fryer buffalo cauliflower is made with battered florets drenched in a spicy and buttery sauce! Ready in under 20 minutes, it’s the perfect appetizer or veggie side dish.

buffalo cauliflower air fryer.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables to cook with! Some of my favorite cauliflower recipes include cauliflower mac and cheese, General Tso’s cauliflower, and sticky sesame cauliflower

Inspired by my baked buffalo cauliflower bites and air fryer cauliflower, I wanted to see if there was a quicker and just as delicious way to cook them. 

With a few tweaks, you can enjoy crispy and delicious air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings! Perfect for a snack, game day appetizer, or a veggie side dish (or any occasion you’d serve chicken wings!).

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer?
  4. Can I bake this in the oven? 
  5. Tips to make the best recipe
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Serving suggestions
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • Extra crispy. One of the perks of using an air fryer is that whatever you cook in it becomes extra crispy. It’s also perfect for this buffalo cauliflower because it keeps the softness in the middle! 
  • Healthier than deep frying. While a small amount of butter is used for the sauce, there is no actual oil or butter needed for the ‘frying’ part of it! Compare that to deep frying, which requires at least a full cup of oil! 
  • Low in calories. Similar to the above point, not only is air frying cauliflower healthier, but it is also lower in calories! 
  • No mess or clean up required. Honestly, this is my biggest perk of using an air fryer- There is ALMOST zero cleanup. Once it’s been used, I place it in my dishwasher and Voila- it’s clean. 

The texture of the air fried buffalo cauliflower ticks all the boxes– it’s crispy and crunchy on the inside, but perfectly smooth on the inside! It’s salty, spicy, buttery, and seriously addictive!

air fryer buffalo cauliflower.

Ingredients needed

You will love what a simple and easy ingredient list this recipe requires. No fancy or hard to find ones and in fact, you probably have everything in your pantry right now! Here is what you’ll need: 

  • Cauliflower– Fresh cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Flour– I used white whole wheat flour, but white flour or gluten-free flour can be used. 
  • Milk of choice– Unsweetened almond, soy, or any milk of choice (provided it is not flavored!).
  • Salt and pepper– To taste. 
  • Hot sauce– I like Frank’s Buffalo sauce, but for a spicier kick, you can use classic hot sauce. 
  • Butter– dairy free butter or traditional butter. This will be melted and whisked with the hot sauce to coat the crispy buffalo wings.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer?

For such a delicious-looking recipe, you’ll love how deceptively easy it is to make. You follow a simple 3-step process, and that is it. The air fryer does all the hard work, so it’s foolproof.

Step 1- Prep. Start by preparing the batter. Whisk together the flour, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until smooth.

Step 2- Dredge. Next, dip the raw cauliflower florets in the batter until completely coated. 

cauliflower seasoned and battered.

Step 3- Air fry the cauliflower. Now, place the battered cauliflower in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 200C/400F for 13-15 minutes, or until golden and crispy around the edges. 

battered cauliflower in air fryer basket.

Step 4- Prepare the sauce. While the battered cauliflower is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a mixing bowl, combine the hot sauce and melted butter and whisk until combined. Once the cauliflower has cooked, remove it from the air fryer basket, toss them in the sauce and serve immediately. 

cauliflower coated with buffalo sauce.

Can I bake this in the oven? 

You can skip the air fryer and bake the buffalo cauliflower in the oven. Simply place the battered cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 220C/440F for 25-27 minutes in a preheated oven, until the cauliflower is golden brown. Once cooked, pour the buffalo sauce over and serve immediately. 

Tips to make the best recipe

After making this air fryer cauliflower multiple times, here are the top tips for the perfect recipe every single time. 

  • Chop the cauliflower into equal bite-sized pieces. This ensures the cauliflower all cooks evenly! 
  • Cook in batches. If your air fryer basket is on the smaller side, do not overcrowd it. Instead, prepare this dish in batches. 
  • Use a good quality buffalo sauce. Not all buffalo sauce is created equal! Some brands are very thin and watery, which can affect the recipe. I love using Frank’s Buffalo Sauce, as it is thicker than others and has a comfortably spicy flavor! 
  • Serve with plenty of condiments! While the buffalo cauliflower tastes delicious on its own, it goes up a notch when served with a variety of sauces, carrots, and celery sticks! I love enjoying it with ranch dressing, cheese sauce, blue cheese dressing, and even guacamole

Storage instructions

To store: Leftovers should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep well for up to 5 days. 

To freeze: Place the cauliflower in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw completely before reheating. 

Reheating: Place a single layer of the thawed/chilled cauliflower in the air fryer and cook at 200C/400F for 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

air fried buffalo cauliflower.

Serving suggestions

As this cauliflower is a standout dish, we love to pair it with some form of protein. What better pairing than with some air fryer favorites? Here is what we recommend:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is buffalo sauce spicy?

Buffalo sauce isn’t as spicy as hot sauce, but it still has a kick. If you are worried about spice tolerance, swap half the sauce with wing sauce.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

When made with gluten-free all-purpose flour, this dish is suitable for celiacs.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Use vegan butter instead of traditional butter, and this cauliflower is vegan-friendly.

air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe.

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

5 from 55 votes
This air fryer buffalo cauliflower is crispy and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside! Made without dairy or eggs, it's ready in under 20 minutes!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 1 large cauliflower chopped into equal sized florets
  • 1 cup all purpose flour use gluten free, if needed
  • 1 cup milk I used soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup hot sauce I used Frank's Buffalo hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter melted * See notes


  • In a mixing bowl, add your flour, milk, salt, and pepper, and whisk until a smooth batter remains.
  • Moving quickly, dip the cauliflower into the batter until completely covered. Place the battered cauliflower in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 13-15 minutes at 200C/400F, or until crispy and golden brown.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the buffalo hot sauce and melted butter until smooth.
  • Remove the crispy cauliflower from the air fryer and drench them in the buffalo sauce. Place them on a plate and serve immediately.


* vegan butter works.
TO STORE: Leftover cauliflower should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place the cauliflower in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw completely before reheating. 
TO REHEAT: Place a single layer of the thawed/chilled cauliflower in the air fryer and cook at 200C/400F for 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSodium: 2113mgPotassium: 755mgFiber: 5gVitamin A: 638IUVitamin C: 146mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 31g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally published July 2022 but updated to include new information for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I just made these and they’re delicious. I was a little skeptical because they don’t get super brown in the air fryer, but once tossed in buffalo sauce–fantastic! They took about 25 minutes, shaking once, because I was using both baskets of my dual air fryer.

    Honestly, I like these just as much as the chicken version. Thanks!